Intelligent CIO North America Issue 25 | Page 54



Video communications solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom truly came into their own as colleagues desperately needed to find a replacement for the face-to-face contact that most businesses had thrived on during the previous decades . past you could bet your bottom dollar that most of your colleagues would be based within 30 miles of you .
Nowadays , with the old-fashioned physical office seemingly forever out-of-fashion the chances are your colleagues are based virtually anywhere – as long as they have access to a desk and a decent broadband connection .
With colleagues spread out further afield than before , a new challenge has been created – how do you maintain that sense of camaraderie that is often the invisible driving force behind many a thriving business ?
The truth , I suspect , is that you can ’ t , certainly not fully . However , there are lots of different initiatives that I think are worth considering .
Although there is no substitute for being in the same room as someone , video conferencing solutions came as close as you could get – offering a more gratifying experience than an unadorned phone call .
Video calls are far from what I would call ‘ total communication ’ but the ability to see someone ’ s face in real time offers a chance to pick up on that vital non-verbal communication that often says much more than the words that are actually coming out of a colleague ’ s mouth .
In terms of recruitment , there are many implications of where your future colleagues will be located . In the
• Hold two company-wide parties a year . Invite everyone – even those in the most far-flung areas you operate in . An arduous journey might make the trip unviable , but the invitation will ensure those employees know they play a vital part in the company ’ s success . It ’ s always good to see colleagues interact in a social setting . Such events may cost a pretty penny but the outlay will be worth the increase in loyalty – you can guarantee employees will be much more inclined to go the ‘ extra mile ’ when you really need them to .
• Try holding full virtual company meetings at least once a week . Seeing scores of faces staring back at you can be a little unnerving at
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